Inspiring tenants honoured at awards ceremony
Published by Esme Trelease for Endeavour Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities
Angela Lockwood presents North Star's inspirational tenants with their awards
North Star Housing Group, parent company to Endeavour and Teesdale Housing Associations were proud to celebrate the achievement of some very special tenants at a recent awards dinner. The Inspirational Tenant Awards, this year held at Redworth Hall, are becoming an annual fixture at North Star. The awards recognise and celebrate the work carried out by tenants and residents living and working in our communities.
The judging panel, made up of North Star team members, were inundated with nominations from across the Group, and found the decision to pick the winners a very tough one. Despite the good work of all those who were nominated the judging panel were able to chose six worthy winners.
20 year old Philip Finely who used to be a tenant at one of Endeavour’s young person’s services, won the Inspiration to Others award. So thankful for the support he received from Endeavour staff during his stay at the young person’s service, he decided he wanted to give something back, so for the past seven months has volunteered three days a week as a handy man at a Sheltered Housing scheme. Staff at the sheltered housing scheme said, “Philip is a joy to have around the scheme and is well liked by both staff and tenants. He works really hard and nothing is too much trouble for him.”
Outstanding Achievement Award went to 19 year old Luke Brakenbury, for his sponsored bike ride to the top of Roseberry Topping to raise funds for a young person’s service. Staff members who have worked with Luke said, “Luke sets a great example to those around him. He volunteers at a number of different establishments and hopes to one day to mentor autistic children. He is hoping to start his own business and recently started a Princes Trust course to help him realise his goal. He’s got a great work ethic and loads of get up and go, and is an excellent example of what can be achieved with hard work and the right attitude.”
Good Neighbour Award went to Margaret Reid from Thornaby, a neighbourhood matriarch, and cornerstone of the community. Housing Officer Jayne McDonald said of Margret, “She’s always there for the people of Thornaby. She volunteers in her spare time to provide a drop in service where people can come and have a cuppa and a chat. If they are hungry she will cook them a meal too. She doesn’t charge she relies on local donations and passes this generosity to those who are in need.”
Alf Hanaford won Tenant of the Year, for his striving involvement in community development work. Showing incredible dedication to the Gresham Community in which which he lives, he and his wife also run the local youth club which attracts children aged between 5-13 years of age from the local area. Gresham is a hugely deprived area and the youth club provides a place for the youngsters to go for a couple of hours for a couple of days each week.
Gardner of the Year Award went jointly to Terry Whitfield and James Pinkey, whose involvement in a young person’s gardening project has produced outstanding results. Nominating staff said of the pair, “They are both stars to be honest. They both deserve to be recognised for their participation in the club, but for different reasons. James for his dedication and passion for Gardening, as well as his commitment to helping others engage with the subject, and Terry because despite his various disabilities, he hasn’t let anything stop him from attending and enjoying the sessions”
A new feature of this year’s ceremony, was the North Star Memorial Award, which is given to groups that have made an outstanding achievement to their community. This year, it was awarded to Teesdale Day Clubs, a group which runs 10 lunch clubs across Teesdale, supporting around 330 members with the help of around 100 volunteers and a small number of part time staff. It aims to minimise social exclusion or isolation for vulnerable and older people by enhancing their quality of their life. The lunch club allows members to have that opportunity to interact with other people and is also a way of keeping in touch with people.
Angela Lockwood, Group Chief Executive of North Star Housing Group said, “Presenting these awards is one of the highlights of my year, and is something that I always look forward to. Being in the company of these outstanding individuals is a privilege, and I never fail to leave the award ceremony feeling less than inspired. Year after year, the hard work, good deeds and dedication of our tenants is fantastic to see, and my sincere congratulations go to them all.”